Published by Zachary Toliver.

Nudie Jeans’ “beef” with vegans is over! The high-fashion denim company, which uses sustainable materials, announced that—starting with its fall 2018 line—all its leather patches will be replaced with those made from durable recycled paper.

“Sustainability runs in the genes of Nudie Jeans,” the company said in a news release. Its jeans are made with 100 percent organic cotton and are sourced with social responsibility in mind. Turning animals’ skin into garments requires using massive amounts of energy, land, water, and dangerous chemicals—so it’s no wonder that this environmentally conscious company is doing away with leather.

“Even today, the traceability of leather is difficult, and the production processes are resource intense,” said the company’s environmental manager, Eliina Brinkberg.

Formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and finishes—some of which are cyanide-based—are used to turn animal skins into finished leather goods. This toxic waste runs off into local water sources, poisoning communities and causing tannery workers to develop skin cancer at rapid rates.

The last thing that people want on their trendy butts is the skin of dead animals.

Every year, the global leather industry slaughters more than a billion sentient animals, the majority of whom come from areas of the world in which animal-welfare laws are either nonexistent or largely unenforced. Cows endure extreme confinement, branding, tail-docking, and castration. After this misery, they’re often transported hundreds of miles on crowded trucks to slaughterhouses, where they’re strung up and skinned, often while still conscious.

Referring to the horrific conditions that animals endure in the leather industry, Brinkberg said, “We know [about] this, and we wanted to find an option [where] leather was not necessary.”

We’re glad that the company has decided to ditch leather. Vegan fashion is here to stay—but companies like Levi’s refuse to get with the times.

Sensitive cows are beaten, slaughtered, and skinned, all to produce a nonfunctional patch on the back of some Levi’s jeans. The company claims that sustainability is sewn into the fabric of everything that it does, but animal agriculture—which includes the leather industry—is responsible for 14 to 18 percent of all greenhouse-gas emissions. Recent independent studies have found that cows’ skin has nearly double the negative environmental impact of its standard vegan leather counterpart.

Write to Levi’s today and tell it to replace animal skin with vegan leather immediately if it wants to live by its values and protect the planet.

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